Grand light show was held at Shanghai Disneyland theme park to celebrate its first anniversary on June 16, 2017. Photo: Li Hao/GT
'Chinese cultural elements' add to attractiveness
The Shanghai Disney Resort hosted special activities on Friday to mark its first anniversary, inviting guests and performers from home and abroad to commemorate the occasion.
Disneyland opened early this morning for a special opening moment celebrated by the resort's leadership and invited guests, who have shared their great memories with Shanghai Disneyland in its first year.
Disney magical moments are created by Cast Members throughout the resort in commemoration of the resort's first anniversary, leading up to a grand celebration ceremony in the night at Enchanted Storybook Castle in Shanghai Disneyland, where floating lanterns representing good fortune for the past, present and future hover above the theme park. Guests were at the same time entertained by the Chinese version of "When You Wish Upon a Star."
"We're grateful to the people of China for making this unique destination a tremendous success - more than 11 million guests have already visited, and we look forward to welcoming many more in the years to come," Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co, said in a speech in the resort on Friday.
The Shanghai Disney Resort was inaugurated on June 16, 2016 as the first Disney destination in the Chinese mainland and the sixth worldwide. It welcomed its 10 millionth guest after 11 months since its opening on May 19.
The growth of the Shanghai Disney Resort has met expectations during the first year of operation, and innovative "Chinese cultural elements" integrated in Shanghai Disneyland have been especially popular with domestic visitors, Chen Shaofeng, deputy dean of the Institute for Cultural Industries at Peking University, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Chen noted that "the operation of Disney theme parks differs from that of Chinese entertainment parks because Disney has its own intellectual property rights as well as many derivatives, from which most of its earnings come."
Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent analyst, told the Global Times on Friday that some domestic theme parks have tried to imitate Disneyland's hardware but there is still a long way for them to go as they lack their own unique culture.
"I visited here with my daughter who is a Disney fan, and I enjoyed the theme park - entertainment projects, shows, and the hospitality," a 30-something visitor named Wynstan Chen from Beijing told the Global Times on Friday.
But the food is indeed more expensive than my expectation, Chen said, adding that he can understand.
In fact, visitors have been complaining about Shanghai Disney's food price ever since its test run in May 2016.
All meals in the park are reportedly sold for over 70 yuan ($10.3) eachand.
For a single steamed bun, the park is charging 6 yuan, while the average price for one such bun in Shanghai is less than one yuan.